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What Can I Do About a Sentence From an Open Plea?

sentencing sentencing

I decided to plea guilty. My lawyer told me that I could do better going with the judge instead of negotiating with the District Attorney’s Office. I decided to go along with my attorney’s advice and I plead open in front of the judge. I got a deferred sentencing date for 60 days after the day I entered my open plea. I did not try to withdraw the guilty plea before sentencing. I went to sentencing and I got roofed by the judge. Is there anything I can do?

As you read in the written guilty plea colloquy and heard after sentencing, you have ten days from the day of sentencing to ask the judge to reconsider her decision and thirty days to appeal to the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.

The real question is whether you have a chance to win and get your case sent back for re-resentencing? When you are sentenced, there is a range that the judge is supposed to consider at the time of sentencing. This range is called the standard range. There is a small range below the standard range called the mitigated range and a small range about the standard range called the aggravated ranged. If your sentence is within any of these ranges or below the mitigated range, you will most likely lose on appeal to the superior court after an open plea. Further, sometimes people have multiple charges and get consecutive sentences all within the standard range. This is rare on an open plea, but can happen. We usually see concurrent sentences on open pleas.

Also, if your lawyer lied to you about the expected range of sentencing, or if your case was a mandatory and the lawyer lied to you about those issue, you can appeal to under the Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA). If your case involved mandatories, my answers may be different.

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